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NHS across UK spends £10bn on temp staff because Tories won’t pay staff properly

The pay trick: by reducing pay for medical staff on NHS payrolls, Tories have pushed them out, making it impossible for the service to cope with demand – and then they have paid private agency workers huge amounts to cover the shortfall in staff. If they simply paid NHS staff an equitable amount, the problem would go away.

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Ministers are facing calls to tackle the NHS’s chronic lack of staff as figures reveal that the bill for hiring temporary frontline workers has soared to more than £10bn a year.

Hospitals and GP surgeries across the UK are paying a record £4.6bn for agency personnel and another £5.8bn for doctors and nurses on staff to do extra “bank” shifts to plug gaps in rotas.

Widespread short staffing has increasingly forced the service in all four home nations to hand colossal sums to employment agencies to hire stand-in workers. In England alone, the bill for agency staff, particularly nurses and GPs, has risen from £3bn to £3.5bn over the past year – a 16% rise.

The NHS in England currently has 42,306 vacant nursing posts.

There’s a simple reason the NHS is having to employ agency workers at exorbitant cost: the Tory government insists on under-paying regular staff.

Junior doctors now need a 35 per cent pay increase to reach real-terms parity with what they were getting in 2010 when the Tories came into government and started slashing everybody else’s pay (but not their own).

Nurses are suffering a similar shortfall.

And NHS bosses have the nerve to blame problems in the service on the strike action these dedicated medical professionals are having to take, simply to raise awareness of the plight that they – and the fat Tories in Westminster – have put them in!

With wages that are insufficient to cover their living costs, doctors and nurses are having to seek alternative employment – most commonly with the higher-paying health services of other countries or, ironically, with the agencies that are charging the NHS so much (including fat profits for their bosses, of course).

The answer, of course, is to bring doctors’ and nurses’ pay back up to what it should be. With agency fees so high, such a decision should pay for itself.

But the Tories don’t want to do that.

Conclusion: the Conservative government is deliberately starving the NHS of staff. They intend to destroy its ability to cope with public need in order to force people to pay for private, less effective and less professional treatment.

That is not the action of a government that has the best interests of the UK’s citizens at heart.

Remember it at the next election.


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How do you scrap a tax hike on your digital services business? Give Labour £16,000?

Google: facing an increase in the UK’s digitial services tax from 2% to 10%, this firm and others gave Labour shadow ministers gifts worth £16,000 and it was subsequently cancelled. The increased would have brought £3 billion into the UK Treasury.

Is Keir Starmer’s Labour as bent as a figure-eight? Judge for yourself with this tale of shadow ministers scrapping plans for a 10 per cent digital services tax after receiving £16,000 in gifts from Google and other companies in the sector.

The tax hike would have brought £3bn to the Treasury, providing an opportunity to cut taxes on struggling small businesses – but it seems £16,000 for people including shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds was enough to put a stop to this valuable change:

Information from Open Democracy says Reynolds was talking about the tax increase right up until he took a £3,377 package for two to attend Glastonbury as a guest of YouTube, which is owned by Google. The day after, reports emerged that he had ditched the plan.

It was not the only time senior figures in Starmer’s team accepted luxury gifts from Google in the months before the party’s U-turn. Shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell’s political adviser, Labour’s executive director of policy, and the party’s head of domestic policy all accepted tickets and transport to, and ‘hospitality’ at, the Brit Awards in February from the digital giant. Powell’s register of interests estimates that the adviser’s ticket was worth £1,170.

Starmer’s political director also accepted transport to and ‘hospitality’ ahead of the event from Google, though his ticket, along with that of Starmer’s private secretary, was covered by Universal Music.

Starmer had accepted a £380 dinner from Google for him and one staff member during the World Economic Forum in January.

In total, openDemocracy estimates that Labour shadow cabinet members and their staff accepted luxury gifts from Google worth nearly £10,000 over the months before they announced their policy U-turn.

And that’s just Google. The estimate of £16,000 in total may, in fact, be low.

Take a look at the full Open Democracy article (link below). The attached comment from ‘Tory Fibs’ is also useful because it crystallises the problem with Labour – or any political organisation – taking money or gifts-in-kind from businesses facing tax increases or legislative regulation:

My perception is certainly that Labour cannot be trusted to implement the right policies for the UK because its representatives are corruptible with cheap bribes.

And no – it doesn’t matter whether Jonathan Reynolds was otherwise influenced to cancel the policy.

It seems as though he shut down a £3 billion plan to help small businesses because a digital giant gave him tickets for Glasto.

And it seems as though the total cost to the digital services industry of shutting down this £3 billion plan was a mere £16,000. That’s pocket money to these people.

Until Labour – and all the other political parties – stop accepting these gifts from people and organisations their decisions may affect, they can never be trusted.


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Labour does u-turn on green investment pledge. Does that party have ANY policies at all?

Rachel Reeves: it’s a big smile but the eyes are utterly vacant – like her policy platform.

Rachel Reeves has announced yet another StarmerLabour u-turn, leaving voters questioning whether the party has any policies it will not betray and asking why they should ever vote for it.

Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme, Reeves scrapped Labour’s promise to invest £28 billion per year on green projects, funded by borrowing. This was in line with a Labour commitment that it would only borrow to invest, and not to support day-to-day spending.

She said she would increase investment after the time of the election, reaching £28 billion per year “after 2027”.

How long after 2027? We’ve heard weasel words like these before. It’s a “sometime/never” promise that means nothing.

Remember: the entire planet is in an environmental crisis, with catastrophic and irreversible disaster only a few short years away if no change happens.

Tory politicians have been talked out of shifting to green policies by the fossil-fuel industrialists who stand to lose profit by the change. They probably threatened to cut donations to the party.

Has the same now happened to Labour?

The announcement has been greeted with disgust on the social media.

See what I mean?

That’s an easy question to answer: under Keir Starmer, Rachel Reeves, Yvette Cooper, David Lammy, Wes Streeting and the rest, UK Labour stands for the acquisition of power for its own sake and the enrichment of the individuals named above – in the same way Tony Blair’s New Labour did. Or so it seems to me.

Labour’s problem now is the sense of betrayal that voters are feeling across the nation:

And those voters are already looking for alternatives:

People will certainly be looking for a political movement to support that won’t betray its promises and make liars of its representatives on a regular basis.

Obviously that won’t be Labour. Let’s be honest – it hasn’t been Labour for years. Think of the way Starmer lied his way into the party leadership and then systematically ditched every single promise he made in order to get there.

Who will you support, now?


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Privatised water firms are charging YOU to clean up THEIR act

Sewage being pumped into an English river: the water companies want you to pay £10 billion towards improvements in the system that will put a stop to this – after giving £66 billion to shareholders – who have done nothing. It’s an insult, isn’t it?

Nobody should be surprised by this. Yr Obdt Srvt (that’s me) stated that it would happen on This Site within the last few days.

It’s being reported that the privatised water companies in England have apologised for repeatedly pumping sewage into the country’s waterways and the sea around the British Isles – and have promised £10 billion of investment to modernise the sewer system.

But here’s the small print (courtesy of The Guardian):

Shareholders in water companies will initially fund the investments. However, the costs will be recouped from customers through unspecified increases in their bills determined by regulators, in a move which threatens to add further pressure to household costs.

So water customers are being made to pay extra for emergency work that should have been carried out since privatisation happened, and funded from the bills we have been paying.

The water firms have never done this, despite it being promised to us when they were originally privatised, because it would have interfered with their ability to pump £65 billion to shareholders in the same period of time.

As I write this, I’m watching the BBC’s Politics Live, on which Jo Coburn just said the water firms most recent annual payment to shareholders was £1.4 billion, up from £550 million the year before.

So they’ve nearly tripled the profits they’re paying shareholders while charging us for the investment in improvements that they should be providing from the cash they’re handing out in dividends.

Are you angry yet? If so, you’re still not nearly angry enough.

The panellists on Politics Live were angry, though:

(For completists, the full discussion is here.)

Despite handing out billions in dividends, it seems the water companies are also in debt:

And now they’re pleading poverty as the reason they’re going to take this extra cash from us (you won’t have any say in whether you pay it or not, remember; the water companies in each part of England have a monopoly there):

Already the government has been forced to defend the demand for you to pay more to get the improvements that British water was privatised in order to provide:

As you can see, Penny Mordaunt’s response was not satisfactory. In fact, in terms appropriate to the issue, it was, itself, sewage.

Labour’s Richard Burgon has the right idea:

The reason re-nationalisation is the answer is simple: it cuts out the parasites who’ve taken £66 billion that could have been used to modernise the water and sewage infrastructure.

Without those shareholders taking all that money and doing nothing to improve the system, water prices could have been much lower as well (and that was the other promise made to us when Margaret Thatcher’s Tories privatised water).

The whole process of water privatisation has been a massive con that has cost the British people tens of billions of pounds.

Amazingly, despite having had an opportunity to demand an end to it at eight general elections, the electorate has apparently been happy to accept this daylight robbery.

Are you going to accept this latest insult – not just to your finances but to your intelligence?


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Where is our money that the government spent – and do you know why it matters?

Spaffer: Boris Johnson splurged hundreds of billions of pounds during the Covid crisis and his successors have continued the trend. It all went to people who were already rich and has caused huge hardship to the poor, and nobody in government wants to re-balance the situation. Why?

It’s time to follow up on Gary Stevenson, the former City trader who became an economist and anti-inequality campaigner.

Last time, I shared Gary’s contributions to the BBC’s Politics Live via a YouTube clip that became extremely popular, with more than 140,000 views as I type this. Rest assured, there will be more content on YouTube in the future!

Now, Gary himself has shared what he himself took from his experience on the show, with which I’d like to couple his more recent clip, What is money? Together, I think they may explain why it’s so important that we find out who has the £700 billion that Boris Johnson’s government has splurged, and find a way to get them to spend it back into the economy or tax it off of them.

Here’s the first clip:

So: an enormous amount of money has been transferred from the government to the richest people in the UK, leading to a huge increase in government debt which triggers austerity, and a big increase in cash accumulation by the richest, leading to inflation and a cost-of-living crisis. The reasons for that are below.

Nobody in government seems to know where the money has gone – £14,000 for every adult in the UK. I don’t have 14 grand. Do you? Who’s got it, then? And what are they doing with it? They don’t want to say it has gone to the richest people in the country.

And they definitely don’t want to admit that their decision to hand over that money has forced you into extreme poverty!

That money could be put to good use, if the people who have it spend it back into the economy, one way or another. What did we get for it? Was it worth the cost? If not, something needs to be done.

Here’s the other clip:

Money is created by central banks and loaned out to others – so for every penny anybody has, there is a penny of debt somewhere; the total amount of money, minus the total amount of debt, always equals zero.

So if one group of people – like a government – goes heavily into debt, somebody else must be accumulating money or credit.

(The government then has to pay interest on the debt, and in a closed system, that means taxing more out of the economy than it put in; this is a way of regulating the money supply, of course. Commercial banks that borrow from the central bank would charge higher interest than it does when they make loans, in order to make their profit – meaning they rely on the system putting you into debt.)

We know that the government spent – splurged – £700 billion during and after Covid – £14,000 per UK adult. But every UK adult hasn’t had £14,000 from the government; somebody else had it.

People who are in debt – including governments – need to get money back from people who are in credit, otherwise they can’t balance their books. Until they can manage such a feat, that debt creates austerity – it harms public sector pay and public services don’t get the investment they need.

The problem is that only a small number of people are in credit, while the government – representing all of us – and a lot of others are in debt. There’s an imbalance between the large number of people owing money and the small number who have it, and (by the way) can lend it, and can therefore demand interest from the people to whom they lend it, in the same way a bank can.

So now, not only do we have a huge amount of government debt to pay off, but we may have private debt as well, because the cost of living has risen.

And why has the cost of living risen?

As Gary said, there has been a massive increase in asset prices: both gold and shares have hit (by now, I think) an all-time high, and that’s because rich people have been buying them up, with a view to profiting on them – because they have so much money, it won’t hurt them to invest much of it.

This creates scarcity, and that pushes up prices, meaning that ordinary people cannot afford to buy as much as they could before. The amount of resources available within the economy is the same, more or less, but fewer people can take advantage of it because the redistribution of money means they can’t afford it.

We have seen a resource run low – gas – and that has simply piled extra pressure on the poor.

We have a government that is not interested in resolving its £700 billion debt. Instead, it is planning to spend even more. So prices will continue to rise and living standards – for the majority – will continue to fall.

And that is why the current Conservative government has presided over the largest increase in inequality in UK history.

It occurs to This Writer that pushing huge debt onto the vast majority of the population may have been government policy all along.

Expect (probably) a video clip in the near future, explaining why.

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PPE losses rise to £14.9 billion | Good Law Project

Well, we know about the money (allegedly) connected to Michelle Mone, along with sundry others.

But that still leaves billions of pounds of lost cash that needs to be fully explained. Doesn’t it?

Read:

The Department of Health and Social Care’s annual accounts for 2021-22 have revealed a further £6 billion write down in connection with PPE and other inventory. This follows a staggering £8.9bn write down in 2020-21.

The total – almost £14.9bn – exceeds by almost £2bn the aggregate sum spent on PPE. The National Audit Office reported in March 2022 that “DHSC has so far spent £12.6bn of the total £13.1bn it expects to spend on almost 38 billion items of PPE.”

The further write down is made up of:

  • £2.5 billion write-down of items procured in 2021-22 which relates to items the Department no longer expects to use or due to falling market prices;
  • £3.5 billion for onerous costs relating to PPE, vaccines and medicines for items it had agreed to purchase before 31 March 2022, but which it now does not expect to use.

The annual accounts also reveal that storage costs were running at approximately £24m per month. Good Law Project has previously revealed that PPE storage costs exceed £1bn in total and hundreds of millions of pounds were going to Uniserve, a ‘VIP’ that had also supplied substantial quantities of PPE.

Source: PPE losses rise to £14.9 billion – Good Law Project

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Did Michael Gove make wild ‘trade has tripled’ claim to counter this lunatic Brexiteer?

Michael Gove: lies, damned lies and FAKE statistics – to counter the nonsense claims of swivel-eyed Brexiteers like June Slater?

Michael Gove has been reprimanded by the UK Statistics Authority for claiming that the UK has signed trade deals with 70 foreign countries that have tripled the nation’s trading income – because it hasn’t happened.

We’ll come to an analysis of that shortly, but first… Why?

Did he do it to counter the even-more-wild-and-weird claims of so-called ‘Chief Gammon’ June Slater, a swivel-eyed harridan who haunts such reputable channels as GB News.

She said Rishi Sunak was a “mediocre socialist” who wants to reverse Brexit, among many other rants, as you can hear for yourself, courtesy of Maximilien Robespierre:

Next thing you know, Michael Gove crops up – presumably in his role as Minister for Intergovernmental Relations – to tell us that Brexit is going swimmingly and trade has improved massively, thanks to these trade deals with 70 countries that are bringing in £800 billion.

There’s one problem: there are no such deals and he seems to have made up the whole story.

Here’s Phil Moorhouse on A Different Bias:

So there you have it. There aren’t trade deals with 70 other countries and so they haven’t brought in £800bn since 2016.

In fact, trade has fallen since Brexit bit at the beginning of 2021. Brexit – so far – has been hugely harmful to the United Kingdom.

But neither Gove nor Sunak can say that with sharks like June Slater waiting to bite them. Can they?

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Kwarteng cuts £18 billion from the NHS and schools – to fund his tax cuts for the obscenely rich

The grinning Kwarteng: he’ll be smiling on the other side of his face when the roar of protest against his attack on our health and education reaches him.

Your health and your children’s education are to suffer in order to make the rich richer, Kwasi Kwarteng has confirmed.

He didn’t say it in quite that way, of course – but he has announced that public services will lose up to £18 billion per year – and that is a result of his decision to cut taxes for the rich.

He – and prime minister Liz Truss – has claimed the non-existent “trickle-down” effect means these fat cats will spend the extra money into the economy, making other people richer too.

But this is not true. Instead, the money will most likely go to tax havens while you suffer due to the loss.

Here’s what has been announced:

CHANCELLOR Kwasi Kwarteng has confirmed that public services face further cuts of up to £18 billion per year.

This comes following his dramatic U-turn on the 45p tax rate.

Budgets will not be topped up in order to take account of soaring inflation, the Chancellor said.

The move has been described by economic experts as one which is likely to have an “extraordinary” impact on the NHS and schools.

Last week, head of the IFS Paul Johnson said: “It is pretty extraordinary. There’s a real problem for schools and hospitals. It’s going to be a real squeeze.”

Paul Johnson isn’t the only one saying there are real problems. Already the social media are filling with outrage:

In terms of the NHS, it’s murder by proxy – if you think about it.

Truss and Kwarteng used the fear that you wouldn’t be able to heat your home as an excuse to bring in changes that mean you may not even be able to afford to live in it.

Then, mindful of the effect of these changes on your health, they are now imposing changes that mean the National Health Service will have to turn you away to die – after you spent years paying for it with your taxes.

Remember: health and education are your right; you have paid for them and the Tories have a contractual obligation to provide them – up to the highest standard.

Kwarteng should be reminded of this. It might make him grin on the other side of his face.

Source: Chancellor confirms cuts of up to £18bn for public services amid economic turmoil

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Liz Truss has lost the UK £1 billion EVERY HOUR since becoming prime minister

This is self-explanatory:

But how long can it be allowed to go on?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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#RishiSunak writes off £4.3 billion that he gave to ‘Covid fraudsters’

I didn’t claim self employment support from the Tory government during the first wave of the Covid-19 crisis – and even in the light of the latest revelation, I’m convinced I was right to do so.

That’s because, even thought Rishi Sunak has admitted he won’t be able to collect £4.3 billion of the £5.8 billion he mistakenly (?) dished out to fraudulent claimants of self employment support and the furlough scheme, you can bet he would have been chasing me for a share of the £1.5 billion he thinks he can get back – even though I would have claimed it legitimately!

I’ve had too much experience of the Tory benefit system to get involved in that. I managed to survive by my own means.

But the failure to recoup the money that was claimed by fraud raises serious questions – like this one:

Well? Rishi Rich and his friends have managed to give our cash away to their buddies with all their other schemes – why not this one?

It would certainly fit with the pattern of behaviour we have seen from the Tory government.

And it raises questions about Sunak’s integrity…

And where’s the outrage from the mainstream media?

At the end of the day, it’s another £4.3 billion that Rishi Rich has spaffed up the wall without carrying out due diligence. By rights, he should be resigning from his job because he has wasted public money for no good reason.

He won’t, obviously. No integrity, remember?

What he might do is tell us we can’t have particular service anymore, or he’ll be reigning back on them so that, for example, people in the North can’t have the NHS care that people in the Southeast get – because “northerners are tougher than soft southerners, right? That’s what they’re always saying”.

Seriously, the justifications would probably be sillier than that.

I think we need to take a closer look at the books, here.

Why can’t Sunak get the money back? What’s stopping him? We need to know.

Because from here, it’s not looking like he is unable to recoup that cash.

It seems more likely that he simply doesn’t want to.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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